Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Social Structures, Justice, and Silence

Sen's conviction a ridiculous use of laws: Amartya - Hindustan Times
In thinking about the systematic and more recent attacks of the state apparatus on voices that seek to critique the structure, one thing becomes apparent: there is very little space for critique and debate in a national public sphere that is dedicated to serving the corporate interests and the interests of the power structures. The arrest of Dr. Binayak Sen is not only a smack in the face of the rhetoric of Indian democracy, but it also is a powerful demonstration of the role of the state in subverting voices of dissent. The framing of an individual or a group as threat to the State operates as a justifier for the enactment of violence and for the use of violence to minimize alternative narratives. Policies and laws take on the languages of "terrorism," "crime," and "national security threat" to minimize the spaces for debate and to erase the opportunities for critique. The message of Dr. Sen has been loud and clear, that violence continues to be perpetrated on the indigenous populations of India, and that the State often is a key enactor of this violence veiled in the language of development.Our moments of critique therefore have to continually question the taken-for-granted assumptions that are built into the language of the State and its development agendas. Our moments of critique are also emobdied in offering our solidarity to those voices which stand up to these dominant power structures (the State-corporate nexus) to raise questions, to offer alternative rationalities, and to disrupt the frames manufactured by the status quo. Ultimately, our moments of critique are embodied in breaking our silences in the face of the sort of violence that is perpetrated by the Indian state of Chattisgarh, the national government, and a judiciary that is co-opted within the structures of the state-corporate nexus.

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